I gotta say this past weekend was a perfect spring weekend here in Portland. The temps where in the low 80’s with a good breeze coming off the coast. The sky was a crystal clear blue without a cloud in sight. Saturday and Sunday I got outside for extended periods of time and so did a bunch of others.
I started my morning as I often do on a Sunday. The Post, coffee, and music on vinyl before getting my act together and heading up into the mountains. I gathered the last few items for my day bag and hit the road. Such a beautiful weekend for a drive into the mountains.
Initially I plan to hike up another trail but I ran into a problem getting to the trail head. You have to take the fire road which wasn’t a problem for my car. It was the bridge being out over the water being blocked that was my problem. I have no problem going around the sign but when it’s used to close a bridge I will trust the sign and not cross. I headed back to 26 and a near by ranger station a few miles down the road to look for a new hiking spot.
I just wanted to hike in the mountains. If I could get a good view of Mt. Hood all the better but it wasn’t a requirement. It was too nice of a day to not be out and that was my only objective. A few miles up 26 I found another trail called Hidden Lake. This is about a 5 mile hike up to the Pacific Coast Trail further up the mountain. Some recent posts on All Trails indicated this trail was covered in snow which eventually made it impossible. The fact that there was snow intrigue me and was a big reason why I hiked this trail. It’s the middle of May, a perfect spring weekend, and there’s still snow on the mountain? I had to see for myself.
Near the end of the turn off is the trail head. Plenty of parking but its also secluded to be careful not to leave anything in your car. The first portion of the trail was really nice. Steep at times but no visible snow. Nice and cool under the tree canopy this high in the mountains.
About 1 or 1.5 miles up the trail I hit my first patches of snow. It was mostly off trail but they started to appear regularly as I got further up the trail. The snow soon started to cover the trail but I was able to follow the path of those before me and make my way up the trail. By the time I got to the lake I could no longer follow the trail. I couldn’t head further up the trail but I could see the lake so made my way over to it.
There was no trail around the lake so it took a bit of work for me to reach the other side but eventually I did. The side of the lake is pretty steep and the snow made it slow going but worth it. I found a nice spot under a tree and had lunch while I soaked up nature. The entire hike to the lake I never saw another person which was nice. It was cold here too so the misquotes and other bugs where not around to pester me. I ate my snacks and enjoyed the solitude. I managed to get some writing done and even a drew on the cover of one letter I sent.
This late in the season it was awesome to see snow in the mountains. Honestly I should expect this but coming from the lowlands of Virginia we never got this. I certainly want to come back and see the lake without the snow. Also to make it further up the trail with the goal of reaching the Pacific Crest Trail.